Ireland to France Rowers Hoping For A ‘Good Send Off’ On Thursday

dublin airport rowersThe 18 rowers who are undertaking the first Ireland to Brittany crossing received a warm welcome when they reached St Mary’s Harbour.

The ‘Endeavoar’ men rowed alongside the quay ahead of schedule, at 12.57pm on Wednesday.

Crew member Shane Denver told Radio Scilly News that they were “blessed with conditions that were perfect for us” when they set off from Dunmore East, near Waterford at 2am on Tuesday.

He said that the crew were all in good spirits but, understandably, had some blisters and aches and “sore arms and bums.”

One rower started to develop seasickness but luckily battled through it and got better.

Dolphins accompanied the rowers, which also relieved some of the boredom on the journey.

Team captain Brian Dempsey was able to secure accommodation for the party of 32 when he reached St Mary’s. The large group includes the crew of the 3 support boats and a TV film unit.

A number of islanders had already responded to appeals for bed spaces from the Islands’ Partnership and from Radio Scilly.

Shane said the rowers were impressed by St Mary’s which he described as “beautiful and quaint.”

The men anticipate that it will take between 28 and 30 hours to row to Brittany and they intend leaving St Mary’s at around 9am on Thursday to beat the weather, which could present more of a challenge in the afternoon.

Shane says they will try and hit 6 knots to get away quickly.

The men hope that islanders will turn out to “see them off” from the St Mary’s Quay. And they are keen to encourage more donations for the charitable fund at Dublin Airport, where the men all work.

They have set a target of 60,000 Euro for this challenge and have already generated around 20,000 Euro from sponsors. Online donations have exceeded 7,000 Euro and with all this publicity they expect more to money to come in.

After two days of rowing you’d expect that Shane and his fellow rowers would want some time away from the water. But the men have spent part of their brief time ashore in Scilly watching the women rowers compete in the mid-week gig racing, although they were expecting some time to unwind in The Mermaid too.